A couple of days ago, my girlfriend, who rarely watches sports, asked me if I heard the latest news about Kiefer Ravena.
As a Lasallian, I wanted to say “no and I don’t care.”
Bitter lang, I guess.
The last time I heard about Ravena, he was playing in the NBA D-League for the Texas Legends in pursuit of his NBA dream. I even heard rumors that Kiefer and the MVP group had a falling out and didn’t want to sponsor his US trip. Since then, Ravena had stints with the Mighty Sports – Philippines team last month though I haven’t heard anything about him since.
My girlfriend went on to say that Kiefer cheated on Alyssa Valdez…. by sending nude pictures of himself to another girl…. while he was watching Alyssa’s game in Thailand.
At first, I didn’t find it “newsworthy” or something that I would pay attention for two reasons:
1. A guy cheating on his girlfriend is as common as Mocha Uson using fake information. Athletes are no different. Tony Parker cheated on Eva Longoria by having an affair with Brent Barry’s wife.
2. An athlete sending nudes is as common as the word “destabilization” has been used in the news lately. In fact, Complex magazine managed to make a list of athletes that had photo scandals before which includes Paul George and Greg Oden!
If you ask me, the photo scandal is only a blackmail propaganda gone wrong. The “kabit” may have wanted something from Kiefer and used the photos as blackmail. Ravena didn’t want to pay so kabit dropped the bomb instead. (Update: I was right!)
Though the way Ravena cheated on Valdez is what really got my attention. Let me get this off my chest for a second:
What Ravena did to Alyssa is unheard of. Who would send nude pictures of himself while his girlfriend is playing volleyball in a competitive setting? He can’t wait until the game is over? Worried it might go to the 5th set with both teams going back and forth until it’s the next day and they’re still playing? I know some people who have cheated before and they thought it was both stupid and disgusting. And when people who have done stupid and disgusting things find what you did as stupid and disgusting, then you know how stupid and disgusting it really is.
For Kiefer and his team, it’s a huge mishap that has not only affected both his family and career, but also the personal and professional life of Valdez as well. Which is why I find it very unfair for all the people affected that Kiefer has chosen to remain silent in the hopes of the issue dying out on its own. The truth is, he only needs to do two things to move on from the big hole that he dug himself into:
1. Apologize like a man
2. Repeat step 1 if not done properly
In sports, we have seen these PR disasters turned nightmares, and this photo scandal is nothing new nor unheard of. After all, the sports world has a short memory; we forget all the mistakes of our athletes and see their victories with far more gravitas.
Kobe Bryant had the Colorado case that nearly destroyed his career in 2003. On the day the sexual assault charges were filed, Bryant held a press conference to apologize to his wife and tried to erase any doubt of his innocence by admitting to a consensual encounter. Fast forward to today, Kobe is now remembered as a champion and a winner. The case is now nothing more than just a blip in his legacy.
Tiger Woods had a domestic incident in 2009. Three months since the event, Woods apologized to his wife on national TV while admitting to his extra-marital affairs. Tiger has struggled to regain his form, but the incident was not enough to question his place among the greatest in the sport of golf. It is now something that people only discuss in passing.
Even Manny Pacquiao had extra-marital affairs with starlets in the showbiz industry. His passion for gambling, specifically “sabong,” was also heavily criticized. Pacquiao had a change of heart and has put God and family first over everything. Not to mention that he is one of the more vocal senators we have right now. His success has covered up a controversy that has since fizzled out.
This Ravena photo scandal is something that we will forget in 3 to 4 months. There’s no doubt about that. I don’t even think that it will affect his career in any way. Kiefer has always had the potential to be a great player in the professional level, and PBA teams are still hoping they get a chance to draft him. But at 23 years old and facing one of his early tests, Ravena has to take the high road and accept what happened instead of hiding from it.
We just have to wait and see if he is man enough to do that.
– David Gamboa